How to make my Instagram secret sauce

In Migrate, The Creative Process by Chris FoleyLeave a Comment


"Don't try to be different. Just be good. To be good is different enough."

~ Arthur Freed

I've been answering this question quite a lot on Instagram lately and decided to write a how-to guide here to point people to.

Here's the question: "When you post it is accompanied by another close up of your post over two tiles, how do you do that?"

Well, Mick (and everybody else), here's the secret.

There's an app for that

First, I'd like to mention that this was not my idea. I stole it from David M. Clarke, which goes on Instagram as @thethinblackframe. If you're not already following him, go and do it -- his work is terrific. I'm not sure how he achieved this effect in his own posts, so I had to sort of figure it out for myself.

Next, I tried to find some apps that would create this effect and initially I couldn't find anything, so I was doing it for the first week in Photoshop. That got old very quickly and I doubled my efforts to find some iOS apps to make this easier.

The following steps may seem unnecessarily complicated and confusing, but in truth I've gotten this down to about 30 seconds per Instagram post. It's really not hard at all. Here we go.

This effect requires two smartphone applications. One application resizes your images and the second application will slice one of your images down the middle.

The trick is that you start with 1 photo file and you end up publishing THREE photos to Instagram.



Use this app to create TWO output files. One is 1:1 square and one is 2:1.



Use this app to slice the 2:1 image in half down the center.


Step 1: On your smartphone, bring your image into Darkroom. Create a version of the image that's 1:1 and give it a 3px or 5px white border, using the slider. Be sure to hit the Export link at the top to save it to your camera roll.


Step 2: Stay in Darkroom. Create another version of the image that's 2:1 and make sure it's got NO border. Be sure to hit the Export link at the top to save it to your camera roll.


Step 3: Launch the Panols app. Bring ONLY the 2:1 image that you've just created, and split the photo. Save it to your camera roll.


Step 4: Launch Instagram on your phone and upload the 1:1 image you created in Darkroom, and the two split images that Panols created (you don't upload the 2:1 image you made in Darkroom -- that was only a work file to send into Panols.)


That's it!

Post these three images as an Instagram Slideshow and add your caption and hashtags as you normally would.

Hit me with any questions.




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